Game design program joins new national organization

July 30, 2014

A University of Wisconsin-Stout undergraduate program, game design and development, has joined a new national organization.

The Higher Education Video Game Alliance was launched July 1 at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo. UW-Stout was one of 26 schools invited to be charter members of the alliance.

The goal of the alliance is to "showcase the critical role video game programs are playing in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce," an HEVGA news release stated.

"The alliance will afford its members, including professors and other campus leadership, an opportunity to share and highlight best practices, publish research, initiate and strengthen industry connections and educate and engage policymakers and the media."

The alliance's executive director is Constance Steinkuehler, a former senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She also is an associate professor and co-director of the UW-Madison Games Learning Society center.

UW-Stout offers a Bachelor of Science degree in game design and development, one of 226 such programs in the U.S.

Since 2013 the university's program has been ranked in the top 30 in the U.S. by Princeton Review and No. 46 by Animation Career Review.

In June 2013 a UW-Stout team was named co-champion in the E3 national video game competition in Los Angeles. The contest was sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association, which supported the founding of HEVGA.

UW-Stout's program was approved in 2009 by the UW System Board of Regents. Students can concentrate on art or computer science aspects of video games.